Wearable Tech World Feature Article
March 26, 2015

Apple's Dependency Issue: Why the Apple Watch and Apple Pay Need Each Other to Succeed

By Wearable Tech World Special Guest
Matt Trevathan, director of Product Management, Kony

By now the Internet has had a few days to digest and dissect all the information revealed at Apple’s keynote this weekend. The Apple Watch has been the subject of a cavalcade of articles weighing its merits and contemplating it as a fashion choice. While not everyone will be running out to spend $10,000 on the luxury version of the watch, there is reason to suspect that Apple’s new watch will be a success largely due to one feature: Apple Pay. 

Introduced earlier this year, Apple Pay has yet to find its stride. Mobile payments are still a relatively new option on the market for consumers. However with the introduction of the Apple Watch, I believe Apple will finally be able to convince users that being able to make payments with a simple double click is enough to give Apple Pay a try.

The Apple Watch is not exempt from criticism, for starters there are already competing smart watches on the market, also, the idea of having a heart rate monitor on your wrist is not exactly the most cutting-edge or glamorous piece of wearable-tech on the market. That’s not to say there is nothing unique about the Apple watch. There are some innovative features that give it a leg up on the competition, such as the use of the crown for zooming and controlling the watch, but on its own these features do not do enough to distance the Apple Watch from the others on the market.

If you’re an Apple zealot, then I am sure you’ll flock to buy your fashion statement with interchangeable wristbands and multiple entry tiers from the Timex to the Rolex, but fashion will only take you so far.

In the end, it’s all about Apple Pay. Until now, Apple has had trouble convincing people to adopt Apple Pay as their preferred method of buying their morning cup of coffee or for grabbing their weekly groceries.  Mobile payments currently account for less than 1 percent of overall sales in the United States. It's not really any more convenient to make an in-store purchase with your phone than it is a credit card. You still have to take something out of your pocket.  

Apple Watch changes that. The fact that I can use a simple band on my wrist to make a payment without getting out my wallet makes Apple Pay that much more attractive. Part of the concept of having a smart watch on your wrist in the first place is convenience, and I think that adding payments to a feature-packed wrist device may be what makes it for Apple in the end.

People aren’t going to buy an Apple Watch for its battery life, or its baffling array of unique features. People will buy it because it’s Apple, and Apple knows how to create an experience from their marketing to the end product. It is not coincidence that Apple rolled out Apple Pay earlier this year. Apple’s marketing minions will drive the Apple Pay hype, which creates a unique play for its watch. If Apple Pay succeeds, Apple Watch will follow.

About the Author: Matt is a highly accomplished platform director and solutions architect with extensive telecommunications and complex integration experience. As a thought leader in mobile development and cloud based computing, Matt has approximately 120 patents pending and granted. He has a diverse background in software development and global infrastructure deployment leveraging worldwide delivery teams. 

Edited by Dominick Sorrentino

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